HE’S TORONTO’S MOST ACCLAIMED CHEF, APPLAUDED FOR USHERING IN A NEW PHILOSOPHY TO ITALIAN FOOD THAT HAS SPARKED A PASSIONATE FOLLOWING THROUGHOUT THE CITY FROM OTHER CHEFS
EXECUTIVE CHEF AT BUCA RESTAURANT
The humble genius in question is Rob Gentile. At only 36 years old, he is at the top of his culinary game, thanks to his inventive and authentic approach to Italian cuisine. “It’s all about showcasing the best seasonal ingredients. When they are in season, you don’t have to do much to them to make them taste great,” explains Gentile, who is the executive chef at Buca restaurant, on King Street West, one of Toronto’s hottest restaurants. In addition to Buca, Gentile and the King Street Food Company are also behind the success of Bar Buca and Buca Yorkville. The accolades keep coming for the trio – according to a 2015 Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants magazine ranking, Buca took third place and was Hogtown’s top-scoring restaurant, while Bar Buca and Buca Yorkville were also recognized. But this massive popularity and admiration doesn’t seem to fluster Gentile, whose calm disposition never wavers as he examines the fresh produce that just arrived at Buca, speaks with his staff and then prepares to rush off to his Yorkville restaurant. “I start my days early in the morning and end late at night,” he says.